Cross Examinations ‘Yaa-Mutu’ – The Chronicle Online
The Justices of the Supreme Court hearing the 2020 Election Presidential Election petition, say they failed to be convinced by lead counsel for the petitioner in the trial, Mr Tsatsu Tsikata in an attempt to have the court compel the respondents mount the witness box to testify.
According to the unanimous decision of the seven member bench and read by the presiding judge, Chief Justice Anin Yeboah, there is no rule in civil case that compels a trying under any circumstance to force a witness to testify against his or her will.
He said although counsel for the petition, Former President John Dramani Mahama, argued strongly that should consider the gravity of the case before it since the 1st respondent (Electoral Commission) is a constitutional body with defined mandates, hence must be brought before the court to be cross examined to account for its stewardship to the electorates who went to out to cast their vote.
The Society of Lawyers like this petition also deals with witnesses who have served witness statements and have decided not to give evidence to be cross examined.
The court yesterday indicated that the lordships are operating within a limited jurisdiction clearly circumscribed by law, hence declined the invitation to do the contrary.
“We don’t intend to extend our mandate beyond what the law requires of us in such a petition brought under Article 64(1), challenging the validity of the election of a president. To simply put, we are not convinced and will not yield to the invitation being extended by counsel for the petitioner to order the respondent to enter the witness box to be cross examined.
“Accordingly, we hereby, overrule the objection raised by the counsel for the petitioner against the decision of the respondents declining to adduce evidence in this petition.”
Meanwhile, Mr Tsikata for almost three hours engaged the lordships on the need to have the respondents who have vehemently declined to enter the witness boss to testify in the case brought against them by the petitioner.
According to the respondents, thus the Electoral Commission and President Nana Akofu-Addo, they prefer that the court uses whatever evidence that have been brought by the petitioner to conclude the case.
They also argued that the petitioner bears the responsibility for the burden of proof to help the court arrived at a conclusion, since it is Mr Mahama’s claim that the declaration made by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission on the December 9th does not warrant any of the 12 candidates to cross the 50 percent plus threshold mandated by the Constitution.
Hitherto the petitioner in an attempt to win the case has rather suffered all his applications being shot down by the bench. However, in proving resilience, has filed two new applications, which one is to subpoena the respondents to mount the witness box as well as to re-open the case.
The court, which other members of the panel include Justice Yaw Apau, Samuel Kofi Marful-Sau, Prof. Nii Ashie Kotey, Nene A. O. Amegatcher, Gertrude Torkonoo and Mariama Owusu, has adjourned the case to February 18 after the respondents have simultaneously filed their responses.